Madonna’s third book arrives
Madonna’s third children’s book is due in stores today. It’s called Yakov and the Seven Thieves (Callaway Arts & Entertainment; ages 6 and older; $19.95).
In the foreword, the celebrity entertainer describes the plot and the message of her latest tale: “This book was insipired by the Baal Shem Tov, a great teacher who lived in the 18th century.
It is a story about how all kinds of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven, no matter how unworthy we think we are. For when we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and the lives of others. We must never forget that hidden behind a large amount of darkness is a large amount of light.”
Click on Full Article to read the rewiew by Brandy Hilboldt Allport, Times-Union children’s book reviewer
Russian-born Gennady Spirin, recipient of four gold medals from the Society of Illustrators and numerous other honors, illustrated Yakov and the Seven Thieves. It is his 34th children’s book.
Here are some villains he rendered for Yakov:
Boris the Barefoot Midget. He “likes to run through the streets snatching old ladies’ handbags and small children’s toys.”
Petra the Pickpocket. She tells long, made-up stories and “while the listeners were spellbound … Petra would sneak into their pockets … and take whatever she could find. Her fingers were everywhere they were not supposed to be — especially in her nose.”
Ivan the Arsonist, “who had a wooden leg and likes to set fire to barns and cornfields and sometimes, accidentally, his own leg.”
As you can tell, Madonna has taken a cue from the more grisly aspects of traditional fairy tales (think of the witch who intended to bake and eat Hansel and Gretel).
And now some words from the press release accompanying the review copy: “Yakov and the Seven Thieves is the third of five children’s books by Madonna, each set in a different time and place, featuring a new cast of characters brought to life by celebrated illustrators from around the world. As with the previous two titles [The English Roses and Mr. Peabody’s Apples] it will be launched with a major international media campaign, including live television appearances and special events.”
Should we have expected anything else? Look for The Adventures of Abdi in November and Lotsa De Casha in April. Surely, their arrival, too, will be hard to miss.